Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Magpupungko Beach, Tidal Flats and Lagoon in Siargao

WOW! It's been a while since I last updated my blog and all my other blogs for that matter. I guess it means that I'm really enjoying my time in the outdoors and have very little energy left to do anything else. Hehehe. Nevertheless, I'm still excited to share with you some of the things I've been up to.

As you may know, I've spent quite a fabulous and grand time in Siargao the last two weeks. For the first time, I got so sad about leaving the place that I actually cried on the plane on my way to Cebu. This photo below was how I was when I boarded the plane from Siargo to Cebu... such sadness. 

I know I left a part of my heart there which has never happened before. Usually, I'm always excited to head to my next destination. But Siargao is different. I really fell in love with its numerous nature spots, the partying culture and all the nice people. For the first time, I really made new friends with some of the locals, not just the acquaintance type that you forget after a day or two, but real good friends that I'd like to keep coming back to. 

Anyway, for now, I'd like to share my experience at one of the most beautiful spots in Siargao -- Magpupungko Beach. If you'd like to know all the other places you can visit when in Siargao, please head to this post: Awesome Things to See and Do in Siargao

Magpupungko Beach

Magpupungko Beach is located in the town of Pilar, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. I rented a motorcycle for one whole day at Php300.00 to be able to go to this place. I was lucky that one of my new friends, Noy, volunteered to drive for free. Aside from Noy,  Anarose also came with me. These two are both staff at Ocean 101, the affordable Siargao resort I stayed at and together, we braved the one and a half  hour ride from Cloud 9 to this magnificent diving and surfing spot in Pilar, Siargao, Surigao del Norte.

We passed by rough roads and paved highways. We're all thinking that if all the roads in Siargao were paved, it would have been a perfect and shorter ride. Hopefully, when I come back here next time, the roads would be so much better.

We also passed by beautiful sceneries of rice fields, lagoons and beaches on the way to Magpupungko. The sun was shining so bright early that Wednesday morning and us three riding the habal-habal (local term for motorcycle) were enjoying the fresh morning breeze. Even that alone was already perfect. 

Finally, at past 8 in the morning, we reached the sign along the road that says Magpupungko. We turned the corner and just followed the rocky path.

A few minutes later, we were greeted by a bamboo fenced property filled with coconut trees. From the outside, the beauty of Magpupungko wasn't yet that obvious so I didn't expect much. It was just one of those places in Siargao I've never been to before so I just thought of visiting the place while I was there.

Lo and behold, when we entered the property, I saw this wide white sand beach with pristine turquoise waters, cliffs, and interesting rock formations from afar. And we were the only people in sight! Even the caretaker wasn't there yet. Entrance fee was Php50.00 per person which we didn't pay at first coz there was no one there. We just paid before we left the place later that morning.

Magpupungko Beach, Pilar, Siargao, Surigao del Norte

We enjoyed the beach, took lots of photos, swam in the water and sunbathed.

Anarose wasn't prepared and didn't bring any bathing suit with her so I just told her to take off her clothes and just wear her undies which she did. Anyway, it was just us three. ^_^

Magpupungko’s name by the way is derived from the local word pungko which means "to sit down". This is because of those rock formations that seem like they're squatting on the water. In my own opinion, it could also refer to how one should climb those steep and sharp cliffs and rocks. Coz I did so half squatting, half standing. Hahaha!

It was my first time to visit Magpupungko and Anarose's too. Noy has been there before so he was able to show us around. From the beach, Noy led us to a rocky pathway at the left side, the hidden part of the beach...

At the end of this rocky path was a very magnificent view --- truly nature at its finest! The view that greeted us was an amazing saltwater pool with the water so clear you could see fishes and corals underneath. 

We took lots of photos at first... Ooohhh yeah!

Then, I wanted to climb the cliffs from a distance so we had to swim the length of the beautiful lagoon and climb our way from there. It was tough, I hurt myself on several occasions but once I was on top, the view was magnificent!!! (Watch out for sea urchins!!!)

The saltwater lagoon below was huge! The lagoon was surrounded by shallow reefs where huge waves crashed from a distance. It was really beautiful! 

According to what I've researched, the saltwater pool is 18 feet deep during low tide and jumping onto it from the cliff is the best way to go down lest I could climb my way down the cliff's sharp edges. (Uhm, no thanks!)

I didn't want to hurt myself anymore, so with buckling knees and hear skipping a beat, I was able to jump. Wooohooo! Noy assisted me as soon as I hit the water just to be sure I wouldn't drown. It was scary but fun! I can't anymore count the number of natural spots I've jumped from... from falls to cliffs to diving boards. It was awesome! So proud of myself, wounded and all. Hahaha! Here's a video that Anarose took. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to teach her how to properly position the camera so the video is tilted to the side. Hehehe. Sorry about that.

After I jumped, I swam to the reef and took another pose... a pose of victory for braving that scary cliff jump. Hahaha!

The tide was just right when we got there at past 8 in the morning. It wasn't high, it wasn't low. But if you want to enjoy Magpupungko, you really have to be there before 4 pm, otherwise, the tides would come in and you can no longer enjoy the beautiful lagoon and the rock formations.

The rock formations are what really attract tourists and locals to Magpupungko. They are these diamond-shaped rocks that seem to be sitting on top of a flat coral surface, as if they're about to fall onto the sea. So mysterious... so beautiful. 

We stayed there for a while before we headed farther up north to Burgos to visit Taktak Falls.

To be continued...

Watch other videos I took of Magpupungko here:

The Beach

The Jump

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